Monday, January 11, 2010

A New Week

A new week. A new challenge. And a confession.

Dang! It's hard to not shop. Last week I challenged myself and the whole worldwide village to abstain from shopping for one week. It was harder than I thought it would be.

I wanted to save all my shopping for Friday. But on Thursday I was feeling a little bored so I went to Ye Olde Thrifty Shope to browse. Spent about $15 which isn't going to damage my poverty budget. And I did find some things that have been on my eternal "to buy list". I guess what I learned is that if I go into a store, I'll probably spend. If I don't go into a store, I won't.

So, even though I failed the challenge last week, I'm up for a new one.

Have you ever gone into Wal-Mart for eggs, milk and pantyhose, only to realize upon check out that you don't qualify for the Speedy Checkout lane? 20 items or less?

Challenge for Week #2: Create your shopping list then stick to it. That means, if you get to the store and you remember you're out of pantyhose, make do without until next week. And don't forget to put it on next week's list. At the top.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Lusting with my List

This weekend I've managed to avoid shopping. I have not, however, managed to avoid thinking about shopping.

In my mind I've been lusting with my list. Thinking about all the things I need to shop for: garlic, cabbage, black pants, and the list goes on. I think about a return I have to make. A different color of face powder I need to pick up. I think about how I need to buy vacuum cleaner bags before they run out. I think about buying lots and lots of Jell-o to make my children happy beyond they're wildest dreams.

Then I remember that I told the whole world wide super massive highway of informational technology that I was NOT going to shop.

So until next Friday, it's all about the list.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Goal for the Month

We're back on board with the poverty project, and the plan for this year is different than last year. Last year we discovered that it's possible to live well and make good food on a budget of $200 for a family of six. We ate food that was ethnic, diverse, delicious, plentiful and healthy. I posted lots of food ideas and chronicled what our family ate for dinner each night.

This year, instead of focusing on food, I'd like to focus on appetites. How do I quiet the voice in my head that whispers "I want...I want...I want..." Of course, with money, if you want something you simply buy it. (And with Amazon's One-Click feature you can buy it dangerously fast.)

How will living in poverty, knowing that there is a limited supply of resources, affect my appetites? Are there ways to curb appetites? Does shopping always stimulate appetite or can I teach myself to suppress those commercial desires? Can I really live in poverty for one month in a world that bleeds advertising into EVERYTHING?

This is a world that screams "You need! You need! You NEED!" But do I really? Can I live without a new fill-in-the-blank or can I just get by without it? Do I need to go to the store today or can I wait until next week? Does most shopping fill a real need or does it simply feed an appetite that can never be satisfied?

Week #1 Challenge: Stay home this week. Can you live with what you have without going shopping? Are there ways to get what you need or be resourceful without buying something? Try it and post your success or failure with this challenge.